The Baby (1973) – By Charles Rector

 Ever since its inception during the 1960’s, the movie rating system used by the Motion Picture Alliance of America (MPAA) has been under more or less constant criticism. One perennial theme of this criticism is that the rating system is haphazardly utilized with the result that one movie can be R rated while another one can get a PG-13 rating for the essentially same level of morality. Additionally, the rating system has been criticized for giving all too many perverted productions PG or PG-13 ratings with the result that children are unnecessarily exposed to filth & perversion.

One classic example of a movie that received an unjustifiably family friendly rating of PG is the 1973 flick The Baby. The Baby is one of those horror movies involving a sicko mom who has kept her child in a state of perpetual infancy, treating him as if he were still a baby even though he is really all grown up. This is a plot that has been used time and again and never to good effect. This is because this plot shatters the suspension of disbelief that is essential to enjoying a motion picture. After all, why would a mother even want to keep her son in such an emotional and mental state that would render him a burden to her forever?

In any event, the movie begins when a beautiful but dull witted social worker named Ann Gentry (Anjanette Comer) is assigned to the case of the Wadsworth family. The Wadsworths are a screwed up bunch. Momma (Ruth Roman) is an evil, conniving hag while her children consist of a pair of sluts named Jermaine and Alba and an overgrown "Baby."

The Baby is a 19 year old man, but he acts and talks like an infant who can only engage in baby talk, babble, crawl, cry and drink from a baby bottle. However, he is adept in violence against unsuspecting babysitters.

As social worker Gentry investigates the Wadsworths, she increasingly realizes that Baby, despite what Momma Wadsworth says, is not mentally handicapped. Baby is what he is because his mother, in conjunction with the rest of her brood, purposely raised him to be a perpetual infant. The raising of Baby involves use of electronic shocks to keep him in line. The 2 sisters especially love shocking Baby. Increasingly, Gentry comes to the conclusion that unusual measures are called for in dealing with the Wadsworths.

The Baby is a horror flick with a cliche plot combined with garbage to form a bad movie. It involves incest between Baby and his 2 sicko sisters, bloody wounds and slit throat, lesbianism and wholesale violence. It is not a movie that deserved any rating better than X or R and it is certainly not recommended here.